Ascension Fund grant provides first graders tools to grow as emerging readers

Special to The Chief

The 2021-2022 Ascension Fund awarded Beth Bourgeois for her $1,000 Teacher Grant titled "Level Up! Reading," funded by the Claude & Carolyn Songy Endowment. The Level Up! Reading Project allowed Bourgeois to purchase a complete guided reading classroom library.

Galon Travis and Rayne Bell read from their guided reading classroom library.

Guided reading is an evidence-based reading intervention that teaches students strategies for reading and comprehending text. It allows students to expand their vocabulary, enhance their reading fluency, and develop reading comprehension, which is fundamental in building proficient readers.

Thanks to the Ascension Fund network of supporters, the students in Bourgeois' first grade class at Donaldsonville Primary School have the reading tools that they need to grow as emerging readers.

The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Gonzales Rotary Club as an instrument for private sector leaders to invest directly in the work of individual teachers and schools through grants for innovative ideas and programs in Ascension Parish public schools. 

Teacher Grants of $500 or $1,000 and School Impact Grants of $2,500 are awarded on an annual competitive basis.  To date, the Ascension Fund has awarded approximately 1,300 grants representing over $1.55 million dollars in the school system.  For more information, visit